I got my first hands on look at Yellix, a mobile app that integrates Facebook and directory listings. It’s on all smartphone platforms right now but the iPhone — to which it’s coming.
The app is clever and defies easy description and categorization. If two Yellix mobile users are also on Facebook, when one of them calls the other they’ll see their Facebook profile pictures and recent status updates on the phone’s home screen. They will also see the top callers from their network on Facebook (via the Yellix FB app).
If the call is not from a number in the user’s address book, the app looks up the number in a database and identifies the caller (if possible) in real time.
If you’re calling a business and don’t get through the app gives you the ability to call again or provides three alternative listings (from directory publisher partners) in the same business category. These listings are at the discretion of the YP publisher but generally will be advertisers. This is the business model as I understand it right now.
This is not the sort of app that would be easy to “get” from a VC perspective; it seems to have a bunch of unrelated moving parts. Yet the app won an award in Austria for being the best Android app and it seems to be gaining adoption. Claudia Poepperl CEO of adaffix, the company behind Yellix, also told me some interesting things about usage.
Yellix launched first on Nokia/Symbian, also on Windows Mobile and then Android. She said that within a very short time Android was the largest usage segment, despite its tiny user base. Symbian was very small and Windows Mobile in the middle. The iPhone app has yet to come out. But restrictions on the iPhone mean that some of the features will not operate in the same way as they do on the other platforms.
Claudia Poepperl corrects me:
1. “If two Yellix mobile users are also on Facebook, when one of them calls the other they’ll see their Facebook profile pictures and recent status updates on the phone’s home screen.”
It is not necessary that both have YELLIX on their phone. It is enough if e.g. I have YELLIX on my phone and we are both friends on Facebook. Then I would see your status and pic when you call me. You would not need to have YELLIX on your phone.
2. regarding Symbian: it still has the largest YELLIX user base overall, but Android is catching up very very fast.